Australia/NZ: Katy Perry, TEG, Eventbrite, Drugs

Katy Perry Tour Announcement Hits Controversy

Katy Perry
AP Photo / Matt Rourke
– Katy Perry
Democratic National Convention, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

The announcement of the 2018 Australian leg of Katy Perry’s Witness World Tour hit some off-the-stage controversy, with koala drama and not-so-live TV.

 TEG Dainty has her July 24 at Perth Arena, July 30 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Aug. 2-3 at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, Aug. 8 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre and Aug. 13-14 at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena. Her last tour, in 2014, ended up with 23 shows.

The 2018 tour is sponsored by the Myer department store chain. Perry was in Australia for the announcement, chilling with customers at the flagship Sydney store. Myer, in its first foray into tour sponsorship, also produced a TVC in which Perry revealed that it was giving away 8,000 tickets. At the end, she quipped to her dog Nugget, “Let’s go chase some koalas!”

That aroused the ire of animal rights activists who called the comment “just absolute ignorance from Perry and Myer, and inappropriate on so many levels.”

Queensland wildlife vet Claire Madden challenged the singer to come and see the koalas she treats for dog bites every day. Each year 110 koalas are attacked and killed by dogs in Queensland alone.

Myer quickly edited the line out.

There was further controversy when Perry was advertised as performing live on the July 30 grand finale of the free-to-air’s Nine Network’s “The Voice Australia” and on Channel’s “Sunrise” program the morning after, both to spruik the tour.

However, just as her “Voice” performance was being aired, the singer and entourage were spotted at Sydney airport ready to fly back to the United States. In the storm that followed where the networks were accused of “deceptive” claims, the broadcasters stepped back and admitted her segments were pre-recorded.

Australia and New Zealand continue to draw major names.

Just before his retirement, The Game will visit as part of the Westside Story World Tour for six mostly theatre dates Sept. 20-29 through Tour Squad.

Due to “overwhelming demand” from pre-sales for Paul McCartney, Frontier Touring added extra shows, Dec. 6 at Melbourne’s AAMI Park and Dec. 12 at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.

Live Nation added two extra Australian shows for The Weeknd’s Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 World Tour Phase Two. It will be the act’s first visit Down Under, with the two additional shows on Dec. 3 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and Dec. 9 at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne.

Australia’s TEG Buys Malaysia’s TicketCharge

Australian live events and data analytics company TEG – whose assets include ticketing agency Ticketek, self-service ticketing platform Eventopia, and tour company TEG Dainty – has acquired Malaysian ticketing company TicketCharge.

This comes as TEG set up an Asian division based in Singapore, to “focus on the strong growth in live entertainment in the region,” TEG CEO Geoff Jones said.

The move demonstrates the “focus and commitment to expand the [TEG] business into multiple Asian markets.”

TicketCharge was founded in 1991 and is regarded as Malaysia’s largest ticketing company. It has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

The TicketCharge buyout also complements to-be-announced partnerships in Asia involving TEG’s ticketing software licensing business Softix, which has clients in 20 countries.

“Our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly international promoter and service producer,” Jones said.

Police Shoot Two At Melbourne Nightclub

Victoria Police promised an internal investigation after two patrons were shot July 8 by officers at long-running Melbourne nightclub Inflation.

Dale Ewins, 35, and Zita Sukys, 37, attended at the raunchy Saints and Sinners Ball “for broad-minded adults” as their favourite comic book characters, The Joker and Harley Quinn. Police claimed 40 officers responded to reports a man had a gun, and that he aimed it at them in one of the “quieter” rooms. Ewins was shot in the chest and Sukys in the leg. But club owner Martha Tsamis and witnesses disputed that version.

They said that Ewins did have a replica gun as part of his costume but was not holding when he was shot – as he was having sex with his companion at the time. Both are in a stable condition in hospital.

According to Tsamis, club security had confirmed the gun was fake when the couple arrived, and this was conveyed to police. Media speculation has it that the call to the police was by a jealous ex-partner of one of the pair.

Comments from police and witnesses were made to The Age newspaper.

Pop Up Globe Brings Shakespeare Back To Life

Live Nation and the Victorian state government are behind Melbourne will become the second city in the world when the Pop-Up Globe debuts in September.

Four Shakespeare plays, “As You Like It,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Othello” and “Henry V,” will be performed the way they were originally presented 400 years ago – with rowdy crowds heckling the actors while they drank and feast.

Modelled on Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the three-storey, 30-metres-wide pop up venue will be built next to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl during the Sept. 21 to Nov. 12 season.

The massive structure, weighing in excess of 100 tonnes and taking 150 workers six weeks to set up, can hold 900. Audience members will never be more than 15 metres from the sword fights, flaming arrows, dances and unamplified, specially composed live music on stage and could even find themselves in the play.

Pop-Up Globe co-founder Miles Gregory, who directed Shakespearean plays in the United Kingdom, came up with the concept after he returned to his native New Zealand in 2012.

Handcrafted scenery and costumes were used, along with scaffolding technology devised by NZ firm CamelSpace.

Two seasons in Auckland drew an audience of 200,000. He said, “There were many school children who came, which was gratifying because they need to experience Shakespeare’s genius in all its glory with professional actors.”

Eventbrite Opens NZ Office

Event technology platform Eventbrite has expanded its presence in the Asia Pacific by setting up an office in New Zealand. It has already powered more than 70,000 events in that country and decided to heighten its presence in the country because of close ties with 13,000 events producers listed on the platform. These include Rhythm and Vines, Homegrown, GABs Auckland, Wellington Food & Wine, and Singularity U.

The NZ office, in Auckland, will be run by Eventbrite’s marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, Brad McIntyre. He reports to Phil Silverstone, its Australia and New Zealand general manager.

Silverstone says, “The New Zealand office deepens our regional expansion and continues our mission of bringing people together through the power of live experiences.” Research conducted by Eventbrite and CrowdDNA showed that 93 percent of New Zealanders have attended an event in the past 12 months – a rate higher than in the U.S., UK, Europe and Australia.

NZ Gov. Under Heat To Test Drugs

The New Zealand government is under pressure to test pills at music festivals. It came after a report was published by community group KnowYourStuffNZ and the NZ Drug Foundation that had secretly conducted 300 tests at eight festivals during the southern summer despite possible jail terms. According to the report, 31 percent of 300 different drugs tested were not what their owners had expected.

Some had distinct 39 distinct psychoactive substances in total. More than 60 of the owners had thrown their stash away. The NZ Drug Foundation’s executive director, Ross Bell, urged the government to change the laws, which he said were 42 years old, “and irrelevant in dealing with a modern drug market and advances in technology that could save lives.”

The government has been guarded about an official response. But Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne agreed on TVBZ 1’s Q+A program that ‘my own view personally is I am in favour of it” and said these tests were “inevitable.”

Asked if police at festivals should turn a blind eye to onsite tests, Dunne replied, “I think there’s a strong case for the exercise of discretion and good sense.”